With more than 270 member- and sponsor-owned boats in the mix, the 2021 Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run was—as it usually is—the largest poker run of the year. But as club president Stu Jones understands well, not all of the almost 750 members in the Pompano Beach, Fla., club enjoy “big” events. Many prefer smaller, more-relaxed happenings.
Picture-perfect water and weather greeted last weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Spring Key West Poker Run members including New York’s Sal Olivia, who ran his 39-foot Cigarette center console in the event. Photos courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.
For those members, the club offers a couple of options including last weekend’s Spring Key West Poker Run, which attracted 32 entries for the trek from Haulover Marine Center in North Miami—and Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove—to Key West.
The event included a Friday fun run to Boca Grande, a popular spot for Florida Powerboat Club raft-ups, in flawless weather and water conditions that persisted throughout the weekend. On Saturday, some members of the group enjoyed a short run to Woman Key, while a more-adventurous group made the 150-mile trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park.
“Smaller events create a very relaxed atmosphere for our attendees, and that certainly extends to the Florida Powerboat Club crew,” said Jones. “As organizers, we use lighter staffing so my wife, Jackie, and I tend to take on other roles that we might normally delegate. But on this trip, I really noticed a much better outcome for my hardworking wife. With Jackie handling most of the check-in procedures for event functions—and getting a chance to go boating for the Fun Run to Boca Grande—she really had fun for a change and she got better-acquainted with our members.
Enjoy more images from last weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Spring Key West Poker Run in the slideshow above.
“For me, the highlight was getting up in the chopper for a photo and video shoot during the Friday fun run in the Key West waters,” he continued. “It’s just so much fun and something I have always loved doing since day one. That part of it just never gets old.”
Headquarters for all of the club’s Key West events, the Conch Republic Seafood Company handled Saturday night’s private dinner and awards celebration. The intimate, smaller-group atmosphere was a common subject among members throughout the weekend, according to Jones.
“Most attendees commented on the benefits of the smaller group,” he said. “That primarily translated to easier docking at checkpoints and fuel stops, as well as more-casual vibe that seemed to foster more social interaction among the poker run teams. It also led to new friendships—and lasting memories.”
With the smaller group, card stops and more were easier and more efficient for club members such as Lori and Chris Nazetta.
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